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St Mary's Kingsclere

St Mary’s Church is, as its appearance suggests, Norman (12th century) in origin and is a building of significant historical interest. There has been a church on the site for over 1000 years, the present church being built on the site of a former Saxon minster.  Much of the present building dates from a major re-building in the 19th century. There are many interesting features including its unusual weather vane which is affectionately known locally as The Bedbug.  Legend has it that its design was determined by King John, who on one occasion being prevented from reaching his hunting lodge on Cottington Hill by fog had to spend a night in the local inn where his night was badly disturbed by bedbugs!

 

The church houses a 12th century font, a Jacobean pulpit and the fine 17th century Kingsmill Tomb - a momument dedicated to Sir Henry Kingsmill (d 1625) and Lady Bridget Kingsmill (d 1672) by their children.

Three of the stained glass windows in St Mary's were were designed by Henry Thomas Bosdet - a leading designer in the early 1900's.  Further information on his work is available here

There is a history booklet available here, or in the church, which is open every day for visitors, for those wanting a quiet place to sit and think and for those wishing to pray.

 

Further information on the churchyard surrounding St Mary's is available here

We were pleased to be visited recently by someone who looks at local churches from a visitors point of view, and found us to be a welcoming church!  Have a look at his report here: http://churchtourismstudy.com/2014/08/02/st-marys-kingsclere/  

The church looks splendid floodlit at night.  At present this can happen when sponsored by individuals or groups at a cost of £12 per night.  Please see the "Lighting up St Mary's" page or contact us for more information.

The church is also used for other community events and hosts concerts, art exhibitions etc.  There is a function room (the Kingsmill Room) incorporated into the building which is used for various community purposes.

Coffee, tea and cakes are served here every Saturday morning between 10 am and 12 noon.

The church organises a range of social events including the Village Fete on August Bank Holiday Monday.  For photos from this year's event please see our photo gallery

For more information about our activities, see the calendar, our upcoming events page or have a look at the weekly news sheets – available from the church or online by clicking this link.

 

The PCC are tasked with looking after the church building, and being such an old and large (and of course beautiful) building means there is always something that needs to be worked on.  In association with our church architect, the attached "quinquennial inspection report" has been drawn up showing all the areas where work is needed.